All this year, California Senate Bill 905 has been working its way up the state legislative branches. The bill, introduced by California State Senator Scott Wiener, would allow, but not require, 7 CA cities to extend nightlife hours to 4 am. The cities would have been LA, San Francisco, Oakland, West Hollywood, Sacramento, Long Beach, & Palm Springs. I say “would have been” because the bill was just vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

“Without question, these two extra hours will result in more drinking,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “California’s laws regulating late night drinking have been on the books since 1913. I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem.”

While objectively, yes, extending the drinking hours would lead to more drinking, Gov Brown appears to miss the bigger picture. All of the cities the bill would have applied to are massive hubs for nightlife, cities in which the last call doesn’t necessarily dictate the end of someone’s night.

When an individual or group is ushered out of a club at 2am, sometimes not even close to the end of their night, they are forced to find other means of entertainment to prolong their fun. More often than not, this results in after-parties in neighborhoods that might not want that kind of activity from two until five or six in the morning.

By keeping clubs open longer, the city would be able to mitigate noise-related issues in these communities, saving money on sending out patrol cars, as well as keeping those communities safer by reducing the number of non-resident individuals who could possibly destroy property or disturb neighbors in their drunken state.

A similar argument was made by Legend Valley owner Laura Trickle as a reason to keep the Lost Lands festival this past September open later. “We have done music until 2, 3, 4 a.m. at every show, except county jam, to keep people entertained,” Trickle said. “These people are 25, 26 and still up and having fun, and want to stay up until 2-3 in the morning. That’s the reason we go late. (If not) I can’t guarantee they’ll stay there.”

In a statement regarding the veto, Senator Wiener writes, “While I’m disappointed, we aren’t giving up. Cities should be able to decide locally what nightlife makes sense for their communities. I’ll introduce the bill again in 2019. Third time’s a charm!”


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